Milwaukee Wisconsin was founded as a French fur-trading outpost. Later, its growth was due to its status as a major farming community and center of agriculture. Thus, it is only fitting that one of the important Milwaukee attractions is the State Fair, held in the city over almost two weeks during the month of July. It's been going strong since 1851, and is one of the oldest and largest state fairs in the country. Appropriately, it was originally sponsored by the state's Agricultural Society to showcase advances in farming equipment and products. Today, more than one million people attend, and it is one of the things to do in Milwaukee if you're in the city in July. There are many other events and festivals that attract visitors to the city.

The most important other festival event is Summerfest, and you can book Milwaukee vacations that concentrate on this festival billed as the world's largest music festival. It certainly is the largest summer festival in the Midwest, held during the last week of June and into the first week of July. Like the State Fair, it is eleven full days of concerts with headline acts like George Strait, Tim McGraw, Alicia Keys, the Jonas Brothers, and Earth, Wind and Fire. Thirteen stages and concert venues showcase all kinds of music, from reggae and bluegrass to rock and country. This annual event has made Milwaukee Wisconsin an international name in the music industry.

There are plenty of other things to do in Milwaukee that will appeal to visitors of all ages, and that fit all different tastes and budgets. If you are interested in art and architecture, you definitely will want to check out the Milwaukee Art Museum. With its striking "brise soleil" (sun breaker) feature designed by the internationally recognized Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, it is a city landmark. Known for his soaring structures that he calls "art into architecture," Calatrava also designed the beautiful Sports Complex for the Athens Olympics. With a beautiful dome modeled on that of St. Peters in Rome, a visit to the Basilica of St. Josephat is a must. Another of the Milwaukee attractions that is an architectural gem is the lovely nineteenth-century Pabst Mansion. Milwaukee was once the most important brewing city in the United States, and the mansion was the home of the city's original king of beer, Frederick Pabst.

Many Milwaukee vacations will include something to do with the Brewers, the city's professional baseball team. Miller Park is the team's home field. You can enjoy dining on the signature bratwurst (called the "soul food" of Milwaukee) while taking in a game. If you're in Milwaukee for any length of time, you will probably find yourself in Old World Third Street along the Milwaukee River, a neighborhood full of restaurants, shops, and boutiques. This area is full of ambience and history, with many charming nineteenth-century buildings lining the cobblestone street and some nice Milwaukee hotels.

One of the must-see Milwaukee attractions is the Harley Davidson Museum, set on twenty acres near the downtown area. It's a fascinating experience that will hold your interest even if you've never been on a motorcycle. At Discovery World, set on Lake Michigan, you can enjoy interactive exhibits on the Great Lakes, a fine aquarium, and the nineteenth-century replica schooner, the Denis Sullivan. Also in Lake Michigan is the sailing center that is home to the yacht clubs of Racine and Kenosha. It is possible to book cruises on the lake. Other things to do in Milwaukee include a visit to the city's nationally respected zoo, with more than 1,800 creatures housed in a lovely downtown park.

Milwaukee Wisconsin is also a jumping off point for exploring the southern part of the state, including the remarkable House on the Rock in Spring Green, the city of Racine, which is quite close to the city and boasts a historic Wind Point Lighthouse. And, after your Milwaukee vacations you can also head north to places like Sheboygan, also on Lake Michigan.

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